This spring green soup with sugar snap peas is an easy, tasty way to use up greens. With paleo, vegan, and Whole30 versions, everyone can enjoy this soup!
I’m pretty much the worst when it comes to using up salad greens. I’m not a salad person but I’m trying to become one, so I optimistically buy heads of lettuce and spring mixes with big plans to make showstopper salads like this one, simple side salads to add green to meals that otherwise lack verdant hues, and everything in between. As you may have guessed, it doesn’t always happen in time.
That’s where this spring green soup with sugar snap peas comes in. As I read through the April issue of Bon Appetit, I was excited to find a recipe in which salad greens that are a bit past their prime are blended into a fresh soup with peas and a little potato and topped with a dollop of creme fraiche. It sounded delicious, and like the perfect way to redeem myself by using up lots of healthy greens without having to eat a sad salad.
I decided to add a bit of an Asian twist to my soup, throwing some ginger and garlic into the base and deepening the flavors with a splash of fish sauce for umami and a squeeze of lime for acidity. The result is a soup that’s surprisingly light and refreshing, but with an intriguing taste that keeps you coming back for spoonful after spoonful.
Since this soup is all about not wasting food (and I also wanted to make it easy to create a Whole30-compliant version), I used whole sugar snap peas. Those pods are good for you, and including them means there’s no shelling required. If all you have is frozen peas, though, you can use those instead–that’s actually what’s called for in Bon Appetit’s recipe.
For the greens, you can use almost anything. I had a head of curly green lettuce that had been in my fridge for an embarrassingly long time, so I chopped that up and threw it in. I also included a tiny bit of arugula that was kicking around, and a bunch of Organic Girl’s I Heart Baby Kale mix that was no longer at the peak of freshness.
Pretty much anything goes for the topping, too. Something creamy is really nice to offset the fresh green soup, and I used Vermont Creamery creme fraiche because it was on sale recently and I absolutely love its flavor. For a vegan and Whole30-compliant version, try cashew sour cream (there’s an easy recipe on page 33 of Paleo Planet), coconut sour cream, or just plain coconut cream to keep things nice and simple.
Is there some less-than-perfect lettuce hanging out in your fridge? If so, I hope you’ll give this spring green soup a try! Also, if you have any favorite recipes for using up ingredients that are a little past their prime, please share them in the comments. One of my big goals this season is to waste less food AND be able to find things in my fridge without rummaging around like crazy!
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon ghee or unsalted butter (or an additional tablespoon of avocado oil for vegan version)
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 1½ inches fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, chopped
- 2 small red potatoes (about 4 ounces total), peeled and chopped
- 4 scallions, white and green parts separated, sliced
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce, plus more to taste (substitute coconut aminos or tamari for a vegan version)
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups whole sugar snap peas
- 4 cups lightly packed mixed greens (I used half curly green lettuce and half baby kale mix from Organic Girl)
- Handful of fresh cilantro
- 2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lime juice, or to taste
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the oil and butter. Once the fat starts to sizzle, add the shallot and cook for about five minutes, stirring frequently, reducing the heat if it starts to brown beyond golden.
- Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry just until fragrant, less than a minute, before adding the potatoes. Continue to cook and stir for about two minutes, then stir in the white parts of the scallions, reserving some of them for garnish if desired.
- Add the stock, water, fish sauce, and a little salt and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil and cook for about 8 minutes, until the potatoes are nice and tender. Add the peas and cook for two more minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the greens, cilantro, and some of the green scallions (reserve the rest for serving). Let the soup sit for a few minutes, then puree until smooth in a food processor or blender or with an immersion blender, working in batches if necessary.
- Reheat gently or serve warm as-is, topped with creme fraiche, sea salt, and some of the reserved scallions if desired.
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